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When Nietzsche Wept

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Cross, Armand Assante, Joanna Pacula, Michal Yannai, Jamie Elman
  • Directors: Pinchas Perry
  • Writers: Pinchas Perry, Irvin D. Yalom
  • Producers: Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, John Thompson, Kristina Nikolova
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,043 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When Nietzsche Wept" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on the bestselling, award-winning novel by Irvin Yalom, "When Nietzsche Wept" tells the story of obsession, a drama of love, fate and will that formed the basis of modern psychoanalysis. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Dr. Josef Breuer, Louise (Lou) von Salome and Anna O - these compelling characters cross paths when Breuer and Freud agree to treat Nietzsche; a sick, poor and unknown philosopher. The story follows the dramatic lives of two of the most important and enigmatic men who would change the course of Europe’s intellectual history and the intriguing women who inspired and ruined them.

Customer Reviews

It doesn't make you think and it doesn't make you question.
Luca Graziuso and Marina Ross
"The Talking Cure" as it was labeled by Dr. Josef Breuer, a general practitioner, agrees to help a troubled and suicidal philosopher named Friedrich Nietzsche.
Erol Esen
This film nourished my lifelong fascination with psychoanalysis and the life of the mind.
Lisa Rose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Brenan Nierman on December 6, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many people associate the birth of psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud; and to be sure, Freud was indeed the master to whom we owe this technique. But what is not known is the degree to which Freud was indebted to the greatest philosopher, not only in the nineteenth century, but in the whole of human history, Friedrich Nietzsche.
This film is based on Irvin Yalom's excellent book of the same title (which I also recommend, along with Dr. Yalom's THE SCHOPENHAEUR CURE). It captures, not only the spirit of the age (late nineteenth century Vienna), but also the essence of Nietszche, who is brilliantly portrayed by one of my favorite actors (see his GOTTI), Armand Assante.
Assante captures the dynamism of Nietzsche in his very first scene, when he is lecturing on his famous "god is dead" statement in the classroom. While I will not go into the plotline, suffice it to say that this film deals with many themes that are universal, and presents the material in a way that is gripping and enlightening. I very much doubt that many viewers over a certain age will not recognize in some of the experiences that they will see some of their own life events.
Yalom's book, and Nietzsche's philosophy, helped me in a very dark time in my own life, when I had to cope with many of the same issues that plague Nietzsche's character. Then, as now, it is a healing experience to see this film show how our most enslaving obsessions can be endured, overcome and healed to make us stronger and free.
I cannot recommend this film enough.
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Format: DVD
WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT gives us an insight into the beginnings of Psychology and particularly the Treatment of Talking as begun not by Sigmund Freud, but instead by the brilliant yet troubled mind of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and the Viennese physician Dr. Josef Breuer. Pinchas Perry adapted the novel by the same name by Irvin D. Yalom and also directs this period piece. The film works on many levels: the flavor of the period is well captured (though Vienna in the film is Bulgarian locations!), the ideas are fresh to some, and the pacing and use of moments of fine classical music tidbits add flavor. If only more attention had been paid to the theories discussed...

1872 is the time and two men are haunted by demons, and the 'demons' happen to be failed love affairs with famous women. Dr. Josef Breuer (Ben Cross) is a famous physician but is obsessed with an hysterical young woman Bertha (Michal Yannai). Another beautiful lady enters Breuer's world in the form of Lou Salome (Katheryn Winnick) who has had a brief affair with the philosopher Nietzsche (Arman Assante) and feels he needs Breuer's help with his 'Talk Therapy'. The two men meet, share fears, and agree to a mutually beneficial relationship: Breuer will help Nietzsche with his migraines (due to his obsession with Lou Salome) and Nietzsche will share his philosophical approach to the world to help Breuer with is recurring nightmares. The resulting experience is an introduction to psychoanalysis as a treatment, a treatment that fascinates the young Freud (Jamie Elman).

The action is a bit heavy on the dream and surreal sequences instead of being a learned exploration of a very important period of history. The quality of acting is variable: Assante seems the only one to wholly grasp his role as Nietzsche.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By barry TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 17, 2008
Format: DVD
At first I was confused why this movie has received so many negative reviews and upon contemplation see that it is a definite aquired taste. It is an independant film in every sense of the word. I love independant films when the director goes out on a limb and does not follow previously established formulas. That is indeed what this film encompasses.

This is a daring interpretation of 2 people who came to become very important in the world and psychoanalysis as we know it. The film expertly displays the period in which it takes place down to the scenery and lovely costumes. The acting is unique but once it grabs you you see that the whole style of the film is done with an intent purpose.

The relationship that develops between Breur and Nietzsche is the basis of the film and I find the acting on both parts outstanding, especially Armand Assante. He lights up the screen with a presence that makes you feel you are watching Nietsche himself.

The film incorporates actual events and the director's interpretation of dreams both characters had. Some may find these silly but they are not. They are displayed otherworldly as dreams are. I must admit I loved seeing how psychoanalysis/therapy originated. The history of mental health and how it is treated is fascinating.

For me this film had a totally engrossing story expertly told with emotion and originality. The acting is excellent as well. I highly recommend this film. Even if after viewing you find it was not to your taste it is worth viewing for it is an expertly done independant film. When done so well it will definitely be controversial in its impact as this is.

Watch and form your own opinion.
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40 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Luca Graziuso and Marina Ross on January 19, 2008
Format: DVD
When Nietzsche Wept is a fun little movie, but not much more. The academic mind may gather interesting tidbits of allusive material, anecdotes that qualify in flesh a mode and a period, but little else in terms of insight or theoretical enlightenment. It is unfair to ask of so much from a movie, but there have been gems which have accomplished much more without pretending half as much, which is the main reason for my two stars. There are dream sequences that skirt the parodic while insinuating to be reminiscent strains of a therapeutic groundwork, but these are really a far cry from being of any import to anything but excessively reductive commonplace assumptions popo culture has already adopted grand scale. The passion of Nietzsche is depicted with emotional farce, but the actor here cannot do justice to the gentle genius that trumpeted the death of God, a death knell poeticized and antagonized by a secularism in disguise and denial. Whatever the merits of Nietzsche may have been, the shortcomings the movie's depiction of Viennese physician Dr. Josef Breuer are extensive and irresponsible, if one wishes to here locate historical accurancy rather than artistic liberty. Infact Dr. Breuer is a man so comical and absurd here we end up pitying a mind who should command reverence and applause. I do not know why this motion picture ends up ridiculing, even mocking a man who has had so much influence on contemporary culture. It is really disturbing to see a legacy so belittled and denigrated. Perhaps I am being too rough on the script, and I must also here note that I have not read the novel by Irvin D. Yalom, who also has written a cute paraphrase on Shopenhauer.Read more ›
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